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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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smart center San Jose - CA

It's going to be a good long while before the folks at the San José dealership introduce themselves, so I'll take it upon myself to tell you what I've learned.
It's in a temporary location, a former Kia dealership, and is not located at the spot indicated on their website map. It is, in fact, located at the corner of Stevens Creek Boulevard and Saratoga Avenue, about a mile away, next to the Jaguar dealership. Because they rushed to find a place it has only limited internet and telephone facilities. I've never been able to reach them using either method. Steve Sneath, a Brit, heads it up with a staff of young women helping him. None of them know a whole lot but all are pleasant and helpful. Steve has said that he has about a thousand reservations and anticipates getting about 50 cars a month. They have delivered a few cars, have organized some kind of waiting list for the unclaimed orders, have a few accessories on hand, and once they get themselves organized and up to speed will likely do a good job.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 09:36 PM
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That's interesting. Looks like a long (1000/50=20 months) wait for anyone in San Jose who is just now reserving.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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I was on the $99 reservation list since last May, turned in the configuration checklist last month and was told to expect a smart in Fall 2008.
When I heard that the San Jose center was open, I made an appointment for a test drive and while there had my name added to their own waiting list.
Last week I got a call from them that a smart had been turned down by someone else and I quickly said I would take it.
The next day, I was driving back to Santa Cruz in a new red smart.

The salesperson was Elena and she was extremely helpful as was Anne who handled the paperwork. There was no high pressure for any extras and the price was exactly the same as what has been quoted on the smartusa website. I recommend them highly. And I love the car!
The phone number to schedule the test drive is 408 247 9034.

John
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 06:45 AM
 
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What "bonus" did they charge your for the smart?
I ordered 4/4/07, still waiting for 30 day notice. They said they had NO visibility, having received only about 42 cars total 28 being delivered.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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> What "bonus" did they charge your for the smart?

No bonus. They charged 16,050 plus tax and license and 16,050 is the same as what I got using the smartusa web configurator plus $650 destination charge. I also added the extended service contract which was at the same price as quoted elsewhere $995 for 5 Year/60K
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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Nice! that sounds like MY CAR!!!!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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While we wait...

..for the confirmation, or the 30 day notice, or the delivery, I can tell you a little more about the San José dealership. Unlike just about all the other dealerships which are owned by high profile outfits, San José’s is owned by the Qvale Automotive Group, a company with no website and with no businesses operating under its own name. Nevertheless, Kjelle Qvale, the founder, has been an extremely important figure in US automotive history. He began by being the first importer of the MG shortly after the end of World War II. He quickly expanded into other British brands, importing first Jaguars and later Rolls Royces and Bentleys. In the fifties, he started importing Volkswagons, becoming the largest distributor on the West Coast. Later on, he was the driving force behind the Jensen Healy, a car I owned for about six months until a wheel fell off. ( That was after the motorcycle and before the Peugeot 403.) He persisted though, and six or seven years ago, brought out the Qvale Mangusta, an exotic blend of Ford power and Italian design. Along the way, he started the Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance, owns a stable of race horses and backs promising pro golfers. Without Kjelle Qvale, the world would be a less interesting place.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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Wow. To whomever was working the phones today at the San Jose Smart Center, thanks for the attitude.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2008, 09:24 AM
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Will be going to San Jose today

I am a newbie tothe forum. I am going to the San Jose Dealership today unnanounced so I will report back on my experience. If they have one available I am buying.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul c View Post
It's going to be a good long while before the folks at the San José dealership introduce themselves, so I'll take it upon myself to tell you what I've learned.
It's in a temporary location, a former Kia dealership, and is not located at the spot indicated on their website map. It is, in fact, located at the corner of Stevens Creek Boulevard and Saratoga Avenue, about a mile away, next to the Jaguar dealership. Because they rushed to find a place it has only limited internet and telephone facilities. I've never been able to reach them using either method. Steve Sneath, a Brit, heads it up with a staff of young women helping him. None of them know a whole lot but all are pleasant and helpful. Steve has said that he has about a thousand reservations and anticipates getting about 50 cars a month. They have delivered a few cars, have organized some kind of waiting list for the unclaimed orders, have a few accessories on hand, and once they get themselves organized and up to speed will likely do a good job.
Actually, they have internet there now because they are sending out notification emails, and helping people place reservations at the site. However, there is no parts store on site, everything is ordered and delivered through the Land Rover parent company down the street.

They have finally put up a sign where the delearship will build their facilities.

They are now getting in about 20 cars a week, and getting lots of foot traffic because of all the cars on the lot.

Staff is friendly. Steve says they aren't car salesmen because he doesn't need that type of person, he needs people that are friendly and are able to demonstrate the car to people who come in to test drive it.

However, I notice that they all have DMV licenses on the wall, so it looks like changes are occurring.

Old people like me will remember the Kia location being further down Stevens Creek, somewhat closer to the Subaru and Mitsubishi dealers - which have moved as well.

So far, positive things to be said about the dealer. The cars are serviced at the LR shop and they have a good reputation, so hopefully that will carry over to the smart.

I have talked with the staff, and they do visit this and the 451s board so I am surprised there are no posts by them.
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